Creating Goals that will Allow you to Succeed

Creating Goals
Creating goals is an important part of making life improvements.  A few years ago I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions.  Don’t get me wrong; I continually strive to make my life better too.  The problem is that I found I’d make these grand gestures and think that just because I turned over a new page on the year that I’d be able to magically change into a new me.  When that didn’t happen, I would become disappointed and get down on myself.  Instead of making sweeping changes, I decided to focus on one or two specific things at a time.
What I learned in the process is that it is possible to make changes.  However, they need to be small, buildable steps instead of sweeping changes.  I also needed to know the how and the why as well as the what.  You see, saying you’re going to go to the gym is easy but what makes you think you are going to be any more successful tomorrow than you are today?
The point is you can be successful tomorrow, but you need to have a workable plan.  Identify what is holding you back from making the change and find a way to remove that obstacle.
A few years ago Mike and I found ourselves in a food rut.  I would make the same 7 or 8 things all the time, on the weeks that I cooked that is.  We also found ourselves getting takeout almost every night.  Even if you’re picking up “cheap” fast food that adds up and hits the budget.
The problem was that I was sick of cooking the same stuff.  Mike was tired of eating the same stuff and honestly, I wasn’t being challenged in the kitchen.  The thought of actually going out and finding new recipes to try, buy the ingredients and then cook it was a little overwhelming.  What worked for many, many years wasn’t working for us as we moved into a new season of life.
Although I knew I needed to make a change, it took a radical change to my approach to make the big difference in our lives.  I may sound a bit dramatic, but our decision to start a Plated.com subscription was life changing.  It was the step change that we needed to add variety and healthier cooking into our evening meal.  Two years later we still get the Plated.com boxes, but even when we take a sabbatical from receiving them, our eating is more varied and healthier than it was.  Plus, we’re saving money since we rarely eat out.
As I look back over the changes I’ve made in my life the last few years, all the positives ones have been from approaching the problem differently than I had in the past.  It’s about deciding to make a change and then figuring out what you are going to do to make it stick.

Creating Goals that will Allow you to Succeed

The What
The first thing to do is identify what you want to do.  One or two things only.  Overall you may want to make significant changes in your life, but initially, you need to stay focused.

The Why
Once you have your thing, understand what motivates you.  It’s easy to say “oh, I need to lose weight” but why do you want to lose weight?  Are you being shamed into it by society?  Do you hate the way your clothes fit?  Is being overweight preventing you from doing the things you want to do?  Understanding the why will help you identify what is going to motivate you to accomplish it.  It may also help you determine if it’s the right thing to do.  After all, is losing weight because you feel like you’d fit into society better really the right motivation?
What has prevented your success?
Now that you truly understand the what and the why you need to identify what has what has blocked your success in the past.  After all, if you aren’t going to make a fundamental change then what are your chances of success?
Getting to the root cause of your lack of success should help you achieve future success.  You need to make a fundamental change if you want to succeed.  Do you need to hire a babysitting?  How about a personal trainer?  Is there a health class at work you can join?  Do you need to cut something else out of your life?
Only you can answer what has prevented your success in the past and only you can make the change that you need to succeed.
Now do it
If you have identified what has prevented your success and the step change you can make to reach your goal, you need to get out there and do it.
What if you can’t make the step change, though, what then?  If you can’t make a step change, maybe you need to re-look at what you want to improve.  After all, if you haven’t been able to do it before and you can’t make a step change, what is going to be different this time?
If you can’t find a breakthrough change, can you break it down into smaller changes?  Maybe you can’t make a step change to get to the gym on a regular basis but can you take the stairs more instead of the elevator?  Micro changes can build up over time.
I’m officially declaring 2017 to be The Year of Me.  Yep, this year it’s all about me.  That may seem like an odd goal, but trust me – the majority of my adult life it has always been about others, usually to the detriment of my health and well-being.  The last few years have been a journey of building blocks that has finally culminated in my being able to declare this.
Seeing my mom go through her health crisis last year was a bit of a wake-up call as to how fragile health and life is.  I’m always tired and never seem to have any energy.  I’ve written about my migraines before; they continue to be a problem although I have had some relief this past year.  I want to have a lot of energy so that I can explore fun places.  I want to get out in the summer and be active with Mike.  I don’t want to be a couch potato who is always tired.
Additionally, I want to explore multiple income streams.  Multiple income streams would allow us to take more trips, pay off our cars early and enable us to save more which would allow me to retire early.  There are legitimate reasons why I haven’t been able to gain traction, but it’s a new year.  It’s time to start thinking about how I’m going to start making it happen.
So here are the two primary areas I’m going to focus on in 2017.  If you notice, in some ways they are interconnected.  As I experience success in one, it will give me the energy I need to experience success in the second.

Focus on improving my overall health
Why:  To increase my energy, stamina and overall sense of well-being so that I can actively lead the life I want to lead
What has stopped me from being successful in the past?
1.     Conflicting commitments
2.    Exhaustion
3.    Lack of motivation
How am I going to accomplish this?
1.     Identify the causes behind my general feeling of tiredness
a.     Follow up on possible medical reasons
b.    Find ways to improve my sleep habits
2.    Continue to make positive changes to my diet.  Especially breakfast and lunch.
a.     Enroll in a class that focuses on healthy, plant-based eating
3.    Find a way to add small amounts of daily exercise
a.     I’ve purchased a new exercise bike (will be delivered the middle of the month)
b.    I will walk up the stairs at work instead of the elevator
4.    Continue to eliminate and manage stress
a.     Continue to control and reduce chaos at home
b.    Spend more time with loved ones and friends who fill my emotional well
c.    Be more proactive in preparing for the next day and any upcoming eventsWhat:

Generate additional income streams

Why:  To allow us to be less reliant on our current earnings as well as earn additional revenue to enable us to take more trips, pay off debt and save more.

What has stopped me from being successful in the past?
1.    Conflicting commitments
2.    Exhaustion
3.    Lack of motivation

Do you see a theme going here?

How am I going to accomplish this?
1.    Blogging
a.     Be more consistent with my blogging and deliver helpful content
b.    Spend more time promoting the blog
c.    Reach out and develop relationships with other bloggers
d.    Increase the number and quality of videos
2.    Photography
a.    Utilize photography group to continue to improve my technique
b.     Set up Etsy shop for photographs
c.    Trial senior portraits and weddings as an option
3.    Freelance writing
a.    Utilize writing group to generate by-lines
b.    Set aside specific time each week to write

THIS is my motivation for making these changes….

 Mike and I at the Colosseum

Belle and I last year in Grenada

Emerald Pool - Dominica (Mike and I)

Belle with her brother Michael

That’s it for me.  Do you have goals for 2017?  I’d love to hear them.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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